• A Feast of Antioxidants: Zingy Black Bean Salad

    For the past few weeks of In My Plant-Based Kitchen we've been talking about nutrition and recipes to keep your heart healthy and strong! 

    In episode 31 (part 3) we're talking free radicals, antioxidants, oxidative stress, inflammation, and how they're all related to heart health. Oh, and we make a scrumptious antioxidant (and nutrient)-rich Zingy Black Bean Salad too (recipe below)!

    In this episode we cover:

    • what oxidative stress is, how it is created in your body, and how it contributes to inflammation
    • how free radicals work in your body, and they part they play in oxidative stress
    • how antioxidants are related to oxidative stress
    • how we can keep our bodies in a state of oxidative balance, and why that's important
    • which foods are helpful and harmful when it comes to creating free radicals in your body
    • where you find antioxidants, and ideas for getting more of them into your daily diet
    • and more!

    This is an info-packed session, and I hope you enjoy it!

    Zingy Black Bean Salad

    Serves 4

    • Ingredients
    • 2 handfuls of spinach/mixed greens, roughly chopped if necessary
    • 1 15-ounce can black beans
    • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tbsp)
    • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 2 green onions, white parts thinly sliced, green parts julienned
    • 1 roma tomato, diced small
    • 1 yellow/orange pepper, diced small
    • ½ tsp smoked paprika
    • ½ tsp chili powder
    • ¼ - ½ tsp salt, to taste
    • 1 large avocado, diced


    1. Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly and chop the rest of the ingredients.
    2. In a large bowl add the greens, beans, cilantro, onions, tomato and peppers and toss well.
    3. Add lime juice, smoked paprika, chili powder and salt (or salt alternative). Toss again until well mixed/
    4. Add avocado and serve!

    NOTE: I love to put a bit of tomato, pepper and avocado aside to top the dish to make it look a bit brighter presentation-wise.



  • Veganuary - week 2 - what's for lunch?

    It's week 2 of Veganuary! How's it going so far? Have you mastered vegan breakfast? Did you try the savoury oats? I'd love to hear how it's going for you!

    This week let's talk about lunch...

    Lunch can be a challenge for people when they are transitioning, especially if you're used to whipping up a sandwich for lunch. So, it's time to think a bit outside the box!

    In this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen (Episode 25!) I dish (get it? haha) about...

    • 🥦the place of "transition foods" i.e. vegan lunch meats/cheeses/animal food replacements in a healthy diet (pros and cons)
    • 🥦lunch ideas and inspiration
    • 🥦tips for making healthy lunches easy
    • 🥦I walk you through making a template meal "grain salad" (I make a Mediterranean version, but share tips and ideas on how you can switch things up to use what you've got in your fridge and/or what you like). This is a great, versatile meal idea to keep in your pocket for dinner, and then use the leftovers for lunch!

    Even though we talk about lunch ideas in more details in the video I wanted to share a few of my faves with you here:

    • 🥦Leftovers - chilis, curries, soups/stews, loaves -- anything that can be portioned up into lunch containers and reheats well!
    • 🥦Wraps -- stuff with greens, hummus, and veggies -- or leftovers!
    • 🥦Keep it simple – hummus and veggies – if you cut the veggies up ahead of time and keep them in water (this works well with harder veggies like carrots and celery, not as well with peppers) this can be a great grab and go lunch!
    • 🥦No “tuna” salad – this is my favourite oil-free version - great to use in sandwiches and wraps

    And the grain bowl we made in the video is another favourite! Here is today's version:

    And here is the recipe/template:

    (as I cover in the video, this is completely versatile - you can use different grains/beans, and vegetables (cooked and/or raw), even dressings - the idea is just to use the grain as the base and make sure you get a good diversity of foods in there -- see the video for more details.)


    Combine (amounts are simply guidelines -- I'd keep the grain and beans about the same, but use more/less of other things, depending on what you have/like):

    • 1 cup uncooked quinoa or another grain of your choice (makes about 3 cups cooked) *
    • 1 1/2 cups or 1 can chickpeas, roasted with italian seasoning mix (roasting is optional)
    •  ½ head cauliflower, roasted with Italian seasoning mix
    • 1 small-med zucchini, roasted with Italain seasoning mix
    • 1 orange pepper, diced
    • 2 stalks celery, diced
    • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (white part) and julienned (green part)
    • 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, chopped (or sundried tomatoes, rehydrated
    • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes. halved

    * I like to cook my quinoa with a ratio of 1 cup dry quinoa: 1 ¾ cups water (with the juice of 1 lemon/lime incorporated into the water)

    Dress with a combination of:

    • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp aquafaba or olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste (I usually use about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)

    Once everything is mixed up garnish with additional tomatoes, chopped cashews and/or some vegan feta

    A few key tips for lunch success:

    1) Plan ahead - I can't stress this enough! Taking a few minutes on the weekend or in the evenings to think about the types of lunches you might want to have makes a BIG difference. Even thinking about it the night before and packaging up some leftovers in a wrap or container that you can grab on your way out the door in the morning really helps.

    2) Batch cook so you have leftovers - get in the habit of making a few more servings than you need, and portion them out for lunch. This makes lunch SO EASY. WRAPS are one of my favourite ways to make leftovers/batched cooked food feel like something different and new for lunch. :-)

    3) Get yourself a good thermos that will keep things warm for you, if you're not in a place you can heat your lunch up.

    Do you have a great lunch tip/recipe to share? Leave it in the comments below!

  • Let's Make N'Ice Cream (and talk sugar)

    It's HOT and the perfect week to make N'ICE Cream! Want a delicious, cool treat that you can also count as a healthy snack? Then you won't want to miss Episode 4 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen.

    This week I'm answering a question that came in from a viewer -- sugar and sugar-free dessert ideas. We cover:

    • some good-to-know facts about sugar and health

    • where sugar can be hiding in our modern diets, and why that's a concern

    • sugar and fruit/whole foods -- what's the difference?

    • tips for enjoying a naturally sweetened diet (be sure to check out the show notes for links to further resources and recipes)

    And I do a demo and provide some practical tips for making Blackberry Lime N'Ice Cream -- Here's the recipe (it's SO easy):

    Blackberry Lime N’Ice Cream

    (pictured above)


    • 1 cup chopped frozen bananas

    • 1 ½ cup frozen blackberries, and fresh for serving (optional)

    • Zest of 1 lime

    • 1 tsp lime juice (or more to taste/as necessary)

    In a food processor blend bananas and blackberries until everything starts to come together. Add zest and lime juice and pulse just until everything is incorporated and smooth, being careful not to overprocess. Top with fresh berries if desired.

    Serve immediately!

    MIX IT UP -- some more recipe ideas for you!

    Another really nice version of the blackberry recipe above swaps the blackberries for strawberries and the lime for balsamic vinegar, omitting the lime zest. Delicious!

    One of the things I love about N'Ice Cream is how EASY it is to get creative and make different kinds. A basic template to start with looks like this:

    • 1 cup chopped frozen bananas (this is pretty standard since it makes the n'ice cream CREAMY - but don't worry, you won't taste the banana since frozen banana has a very mild taste)

    • 1 ½ cup frozen berries/cherries/other fruit

    • (optional) 1-2 tbsp special additions, like nuts/seeds (or nut butters), chocolate chips or cacao, dried fruit, coconut, fresh herbs such as mint, etc (get creative)

    • (optional) 1 tsp

    In a food processor blend bananas and other fruit until everything starts to come together, pushing down as necessary. Once creamy add additional ingredients and pulse just until everything is incorporated and smooth, being careful not to overprocess/overheat. Top with garnishes for an extra special touch.

    Here are a couple more recipe ideas to get you started:

    Mint Honeydew Sherbet with Lime

    • 1 cup sliced, frozen bananas
    • 2 cups chopped, frozen honeydew melon
    • 1-2 tbsp mint leaves
    • juice of 1 lime (or more, to taste)
    • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup, to taste (optional)
    • add a few drops of peppermint essential oil (food grade only) for an extra minty flavour

    Mango Orange Sherbet

    • 1 cup sliced, frozen banana
    • 1 ½ cup frozen mango
    • 1 ½ cup frozen orange
    • 1-2 tbsp agave syrup (optional)
    • add a few drops of food grade orange essential oil
    • pulse in some shredded coconut at the end
    What combinations are YOUR favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Power Packed Smoothies

    In this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen we're talking about smoothies!

    I talk about reasons to include them, tips for making them nutritious AND delicious, including suggestions for easy power-packed additions and more. AND I share the GO-TO Smoothie Recipe I use very often, based on Dr. Brooke Goldner's  green smoothie formula.

    Find the formula, more recipe ideas and some smoothie tips below:

    GO-TO Smoothie Formula:

    Fill your blender with

    • 75% leafy greens (power greens mix/kale/beet greens/spinach, etc) -- I used a mixture of beet greens, mint and a power green mix

    • fill to the top of greens with water (or you can use a chilled tea - I used green tea)

    • 1-2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (or you can use chia)

    • 25% frozen fruit (I used bananas and an orange)

    • my addition: 1 tsp of a power boost ingredient (I used shatavari powder)

    Blend it up well and sip throughout the day!

    Other smoothie ideas to get you started:

    Green Ginger Pear Joy (serves 2)

    2 cups water/coconut water/cooled green tea
    1 tbsp ginger, chopped fine
    2 oranges
    2 pitted dates
    2 cups frozen pear slices (or fresh with 2 ice cubes)
    4 cups spinach

    Green Morning Monster (serves 1)

    1 orange, peeled
    1 cup pure orange juice or water (oj makes it a little sweeter)
    1 stalk celery
    1 lime, peeled (but you can include a bit of the zest if you like)
    large handful spinach/kale (spinach is milder – so use it if you are not used to green yet)
    handful of fresh mint (optional)
    ¼ tsp turmeric
    3-4 ice cubes

    Pineapple Cucumber Mint Refresher (serves 2)

    2 cups coconut water
    1 cup pineapple
    1 cup mint leaves
    2 frozen bananas
    ½ cup frozen cucumber

    Simple Berry Smoothie (serves 2)

    2 cups almond milk
    a couple of leaves of purple cabbage OR a handful of spinach/other leafy greens
    1 frozen banana
    1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries/blackberries/mixed berries
    1 tbsp chia seeds
    1 tsp maca powder (optional)

    Breakfast Oatmeal Smoothie (serves 1-2)

    1 cup almond milk
    1-2 tbsp rolled oats
    ½ -1 frozen banana
    ¼ tsp cinnamon
    2 ice cubes
    1-2 dates
    1 tbsp hemp seeds
    1 tbsp almond butter
    1 tbsp molasses

    Melon Madness (serves 2)

    1 cup coconut water
    ½ small melon, skinned and cubed
    ½ cucumber
    1 handful spinach/kale
    4 ice cubes
    1 handful mint

    Skip the Flu Season Smoothie (serves 2)

    2 cups chilled green tea (de-caf if you like)/water/coconut water
    2 large handfuls chopped kale
    2 frozen bananas
    2 tbsp chia seeds OR 2 tbsp white beans
    2 cups blackberries



    • Add 1-2 tbsp nut/seed butter or raw, unsalted nuts/seeds – like peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter etc

    • Add 1 tbsp superfood seeds, such as ground flax, chia, hemp hearts

    • Add 1-2 tbsp uncooked oats

    • Add ¼ cup white beans or chickpeas

    NOTE: you may have to add more liquid if you do one of these things, so the smoothie is not too thick


    • Add a tbsp of goji berries or a tsp of goji berry powder

    • Add 1 tsp amla powder

    • Add 1 tsp matcha powder


  • Whole Grain Tabouleh

    I've been making variations of this tabouleh recipe since I became vegan more than 20 years ago, and I never get tired of it. I particularly love grain salads in the summer because they are cool, light meals that you can make a big batch of and eat with a side of greens and other veggies, in a pita with hummus, or on rice crackers for a snack!'

    It is featured in this week's Episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen - Citrus!

    Whole Grain Tabouleh


    • 1 cup bulgur wheat OR quinoa*

    • 2 cups water*

    • 3-4 green onions, cut into small rounds

    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or less if you’re not a huge garlic fan)

    • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)

    • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

    • ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped

    • 1-2 large, ripe roma tomato(s), diced


    • 1 tbsp olive oil (or use aquafaba from the chickpeas to make it oil-free)

    • 1 ¼ tbsp vinegar

    • ¼ cup lemon juice

    • pinch of unrefined sugar or a splash of maple syrup (optional)

    • ½ tsp sea salt or salt alternative

    • ¼ tsp ground pepper


    1. Place bulgur in bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with a clean tea towel and let stand for 15 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.

    2. Prepare vegetables and dressing.

    3. Combine vegetables, bulgur and dressing in a large bowl, mixing well. Let stand about 1 hour before serving (or serve right away if you can’t wait). Taste and season with more dressing/lemon juice and/or salt and pepper if desired.

    4. Serve in a pita with lettuce/spinach and a few olives for a lovely lunch, or with some whole grain crackers as a delicious snack.


    *Quinoa can be used in place of bulghur for a GF version. Use 1 cup of quinoa: 1 3/4 cups water (bring to a boil, and cook on low for about 15 minutes until all water has been absorbed; cool slightly before adding to the rest of the ingredients).

    REFRESHING THE DRESSING: After the first day you'll notice that the dressing is much more subtle as the grain and beans absorb the flavours - you can refresh the salad by simply adding a bit more dressing, or some additional lemon juice and/or salt and pepper.


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